Work and Travel in Macao
VOLUNTEER AND PAID WORK OPPORTUNITIES IN MACAO FOR TRAVELLERS
Macau is a former Portuguese colony situated just a short boat trip across from Hong Kong. If you’re not just passing through the region, consider work and travel in Macau.
Despite being part of China, it’s very different from the mainland. It retains much of its ‘foreign’ feel and the culture divined from its colonial history remains.
There are volunteering opportunities in Macau for those who want them. Most of them require formal applications, but travellers shouldn’t find it too difficult to secure a position.
Challenge yourself this year by traveling to Macau.
Our travel guide to Macau is going to show you how to do it.
1. Volunteer with Street Children
The majority of volunteering opportunities in Macau revolve around helping the community. Backpackers who make their way to Macau can work with street children. Sadly, there are a huge number of street children in the territory, and the government does little to help.
Charities are working to help get street children off the streets and into good homes. There’s a focus on feeding them and educating them so they can make something of themselves.
You can make a real difference to their lives by volunteering with street children in Macau.
2. Teach English in Macau
Macau’s main languages are Chinese and Portuguese. However, like the mainland, young people realise the importance of learning English and they’re eager to speak it as soon as possible. There’s an absence of native English speakers, so you’ll find it easy to get a job here.
You can find work in schools with prior qualifications. On the other hand, private tuition is a big thing in this part of the world, so you’ll be able to find work in Macau without any prior experience.
Just being able to speak English fluently is more than enough.
3. Work in a Clinic in Macau
Medical facilities also have work available for interested volunteers. Anyone with any prior medical experience will be able to find a job within a day in Macau. It’s still possible to find work even if you’re a medical intern or you’re just interested in helping, though.
Take note that these are formal organisations and you’ll be expected to submit an application that’s reflective of that.
These programmes usually require applications to be submitted a few months in advance of your start date and may require a longer-term commitment.
VOLUNTEER WORK VISA / PERMIT REQUIREMENTS FOR MACAO
Macau may be a part of China, but it’s considered to be a Special Administrative Region (SAR). SARs in China have separate visa requirements to the rest of the country. For more info click here. The majority of nations are able to enter Macau without a visa, in the same way as people can enter Hong Kong.
UK citizens are a big exception because they can travel in Macau for six months without a visa. Citizens of the European Union (EU), New Zealand, Japan, and South Korea are able to work and travel in Macau for 90 days without a visa.
Canadians, Americans, Australians, South Africans, and Russians can stay in Macau for a maximum of 30 days without a visa.
Take note that if you require a longer visa, you will need to apply for a Macau visa at a Chinese embassy. For more info click here. The process is extremely bureaucratic, so either obtain visa support from your project leader or enlist a third-party to guide you through it.
Recent visits to Turkey have been known to lead to long-term visa rejections.
SEASONAL BACKPACKER SKILLS NEEDED IN MACAO
Macau in spring is warm and foggy, which means the majority of working travellers decide to take indoor projects. Teaching English in spring is an excellent option to escape the relentless humidity.
Whilst English teaching is available throughout the whole year, spring may be the best time to do it in the absence of other projects.
The work that is needed by hosts in the summer in Macao
The autumn season is cool and clear. It’s one of the best times to work and travel in Macau. It’s an ideal time of year to get outside and to help street children. You’ll be spending a lot of your time on the ground and you’ll get to explore Macau more deeply.
Another reason why it’s a good idea to visit Macau in autumn is you can get cheap flights to and from Macau in Asia at this time of year.
The winter season is cold yet sunny. It’s another great season to go into Macau because practically every type of work in Macau is available. We recommend opting for some of the outdoor projects.
Refer back to the previous sections to find out more about some of the things you can do in Macau in winter.
ATTITUDE TO FOREIGNERS WORKING OR VOLUNTEERING IN MACAO
Macau happens to be an SAR, but it couldn’t be more different from the rest of China. There are big language barriers here. The level of English isn’t the same as neighbouring Hong Kong, so try not to fall into that trap.
You should bear in mind that there is some level of resentment towards China from local people, who don’t want to be amalgamated into China as a whole. Again, though, those feelings are nowhere near as strong as those in Hong Kong. So many people assume that Macau is just another Hong Kong, but that couldn’t be further from the truth.
Most people are reserved, but you’ll find them to be friendly when you start working with them.
Are you ready to work and travel in Macau?